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But Popeck also notes that it is unclear whether such diets work in the long run. “I believe low-carb diets may be nutritionally unbalanced and difficult to maintain,” she says. “I work with many patients in my clinic who have tried the Atkins Diet and successfully lost weight, but then [they] regain the lost weight and in turn have a difficult time losing weight again.“
That’s why she doesn’t recommend them. “I don’t like to promote diets because most people view them as temporary,” she explains. “For some, a low-carb program may pave the way toward healthier choices simply by eliminating sugars, sweets, and processed foods. Overall, though, in my experience, feelings of deprivation usually lead to rebound bingeing, not permanent change.”
Instead, she says, she encourages her clients to try to think of diet planning more as a lifestyle — one where all foods can fit.
Additional reporting by Stephanie Bucklin